Professional Pilot Training (includes ground studies) A forum for those on the steep path to that coveted professional licence. Whether studying for the written exams, training for the flight tests or building experience here's where you can hang out.

Is it worth it in todays economy?

Old 24th Aug 2009, 11:42
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: uk
Age: 41
Posts: 31
Is it worth it in todays economy?

I have done the research of what it takes to study.

I have decided I would like to go integrated atpl.

I now finally have enough money to do it at 32 yoa

But will it be worth it. if I start in 2010
finish in 2011 - and hopefully build more time instructing for a year.

How will things be looking in the Job market in 2012?

Will I be just pouring my life savings down the drain and only to realize it at 34.

I've seen so many people on here searching for years and other picking up a job on first go.

How can you calculate the odds on that?
CharlieLima is offline  
Old 24th Aug 2009, 12:04
  #2 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Seoul
Posts: 23
How can you calculate the odds? Simple....You can't


I'm in the same situation. I've been working in Korea for 4.5 years and will start training early next year. I will pay for all my training in cash and don't expect to make a decent amount of money for a number of years. I'm taking a chance by spending so much money, but it's a chance I'm willing to take in order to try and fulfill a lifelong dream.
Customx is offline  
Old 24th Aug 2009, 13:01
  #3 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Posts: 2,264
Of course you can't, that is the gamble you would be embarking upon.
Nobody can predict with any degree of certainty what any market will look like at any point in the future. If they could, it wouldn't be much of a gamble?

If you were investing your money in a tangible asset such as property or gold, you would still be taking a gamble, but win or lose there would still be something of some value to show for your gain or loss. The problem with this type of training, is that it is little more than a piece of paper and even that will require large sums of additional maintainence to stop it from perishing. It is not an heirloom that you can pass on, nor is it an asset that you can re-sell or use as a security.

This is simply training that is intended to put you in a position that would enable you to enter a fiercely competitive job market pool. Having entered that pool, you will find it crowded and populated by individuals with a spectrum of additional qualification and experience, much of which will make those individuals much more attractive to the highly selective, often few and always fickle customers. As with any market, customers are going to be looking for the quality, be that the freshest, juiciest, ripest, most attractive products on sale at the best possible price. As with any perishable commodity, you only have a limited time to sell yourself, before things start to spoil and you need to refresh your product.

How much risk can you afford? How much research have you done? Have you looked at the aircraft manufacturers websites for their year on year sales at this time. Given the long lead times in ramping up their production, where do feel any sudden growth is going to be satisfied from? Have you researched how many airlines are laying off experienced pilots, and in what numbers? How much growth would it take to re-absorb a significant bulk of these experienced pilots? Have you researched the effect of legislative changes to the labour market? Do you know that in many countries pilots can now potentially work up to 10 years longer than they could just a couple of years ago. How much pressure will this take off employers to naturally cycle between now and 2017? Look at the new technology aircraft (A350, B787) and the problems that are plaguing these programmes. These are in many cases, replacement units for existing fleets that are reaching the end of their life cycles. Nevertheless they are unlikely, even without further delays, to be seeing a significant inroad into aircraft fleets until around the year 2017. Airlines ordering today would be lucky to see delivery slots before 2018-2020.

Where do you see the urgent need for 250 hour CPL's in this time frame?
One answer might be in carriers looking to offer training as a revenue stream, coupled with cheap right hand seat costs. Here specifically I am thinking of MPL type training and other forms of quasi-sponsorship/loan type programmes. This might well be the road to proceed on for new aspirants in the near and medium term future. If it proves cost effective and successful for the airlines now experimenting with it, then others will surely follow. The point to bear in mind of course, is that it will massively depress the reward element of that job. Why pay somebody for a task they are willing to do for free, or even to pay you for? How long before this methodology then spreads to the other seat? The bad news is that it already is. Some companies are now starting to require even Captains to have to invest in their own type ratings and conversion training before they will offer a contract. Even for experienced pilots, the tide is coming in a lot faster than many ever expected.

Some people will tell you to ignore the gloom & doom, and I would agree that there are times when you simply have to, however before anybody spends dangerously large sums of money on speculative ventures they should take off any blinkers and look at what is happening in the real world now! It is all too easy to ignore reality with tales of what someones mate did 3 years ago or even last year. The glossy brochures will still be glossy as long as they can afford to be printed in that format. There is always a natural desire to talk up a market (or even talk down a market) from those that would see a profit in such talk. Even if the sun comes out tommorow, unemployment tumbles and everybody breathes a collective sigh or relief. Where do you think this massive turnaround in airline growth will suddenly spout from? This is a mature industry that will eventually improve. However that improvement will inevitably take years to be of significance and unlike the Harrods sale, will not require anybody to be camped on the pavement ready for the doors to open tommorrow. That isn't going to happen, and indeed cannot happen.

Having said all that, if anybody can afford to train without taking on an enormous financial risk, or they simply don't care, or they want to take a punt, then go for it. I believe the training industry is also in an economic predicament and needs to sell to survive. It also has employees whose own livelyhood depends on the employers consequential success. I wouldn't want to see these businesses suffering any more than I would want to see my own suffering. They have a right to succeed, and they can only do that if they can sell. Given the very few under 18's who have the ability to aquire credit, or possess these large sums of capital, required to buy the product, their principal customers will be adults. It is up to these adults to satisfy themselves as to the viability and risk of the product they are buying. To this end the old adage still applies of caveat emptor.

Bet you are glad you asked!
Bealzebub is offline  
Old 25th Aug 2009, 05:12
  #4 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: uk
Age: 41
Posts: 31
Thanks Bealzebub, am very glad i asked now.

It does look very bleak. You asked some very important questions on the industry as a whole. I'll answer what i can.

How much risk can you afford?

I can afford to take to the risk, but assessing the risk itself is more difficult, I think we can safely say its in a high risk category at this stage.

How much research have you done?

Mostly on FTO's and what is involved in the study to see if i would be able to handle the amount of study etc.

Have you looked at the aircraft manufacturers websites for their year on year sales at this time. Given the long lead times in ramping up their production, where do feel any sudden growth is going to be satisfied from?

I have not looked but have heard in here about such comments on Boeing / Airbus Orders - Apparently there's a good number of them but i wouldn't let that paint a pretty picture. But good idea, I'll google out some of their websites. (Any links on that?)

Have you researched how many airlines are laying off experienced pilots, and in what numbers?

Mainly only what I've heard in PPRuNe and on the news. I have looked at what airlines are offering jobs though, there is positions there, but i fear the queue for some them could run into the tens of thousands.

How much growth would it take to re-absorb a significant bulk of these experienced pilots?

I have heard random numbers in here from 3 years, 5 years to 10 years.
Again how to calculate these for certain is almost impossible but i would go
with the mean of 5 years.

Have you researched the effect of legislative changes to the labour market? Do you know that in many countries pilots can now potentially work up to 10 years longer than they could just a couple of years ago. How much pressure will this take off employers to naturally cycle between now and 2017?

Yes, am aware the retirement age has changed in some places. Its sure to slow things down a bit, you could say by ten years add that to the previous and we are 15 years behind any proper chance of sponsored job.

Look at the new technology aircraft (A350, B787) and the problems that are plaguing these programmes. These are in many cases, replacement units for existing fleets that are reaching the end of their life cycles. Nevertheless they are unlikely, even without further delays, to be seeing a significant inroad into aircraft fleets until around the year 2017. Airlines ordering today would be lucky to see delivery slots before 2018-2020.

Not sure which problems your specifically mentioning here but that adds another 9 years right there.

Maybe we should put this in the super high risk category i.e not worth it at all in todays economy. Although you can be lucky, that has certainly been proven.
And as you mentioned there are options to "self sponsor" by spending tonnes more money in the hopes it will help u up the ladder and into the seat of your dreams.

Maybe the best thing would be to sign up for one of the regional airline offers through the fto like flybe and such although its been a while since i looked at them too, maybe they are flaking out.

I must admit, I'm triple thinking about the whole thing now, will have to re-research again.
CharlieLima is offline  
Old 25th Aug 2009, 05:54
  #5 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 54
If you have ANY other marketable skills that would provide you with reasonable income potential and maintain your keen mind, DO IT and invest your cash in the stock market and/or real estate. Prices for both are at generational lows, while flight training is at all time highs, with payoffs dwindling with every manufactured economic factor that distresses the industry.

The ONLY carriers that are growing hire on contract, pay as little as possible to interest those who might be qualified as they grow rapidly, and the proof of their pudding will be when they STOP growing and need something else to keep their pilots "happy."

Good luck to all, but I hope everyone realizes that the time for a golden future in aviation is long past and it is time to hang on to as much as possible for as long as possible. I will certainly be telling EVERYONE I know who wants my opinion to RUN in the opposite direction. However, because there will ALWAYS be wannabees who think it will different for them, and who are willing to do and spend whatever it takes, pay and other T&C will continue to be driven south at as rapid a rate as the few companies who are not shrinking can manage.

Not that I am bitter, of course, but the dream of flight is hard to counter with pragmatism. All the best to everyone who is taking the leap, just make sure you look LONG AND HARD before you set off.
cityfan is offline  
Old 25th Aug 2009, 06:57
  #6 (permalink)  
v6g
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Canada
Age: 42
Posts: 253
Originally Posted by CharlieLima
How much growth would it take to re-absorb a significant bulk of these experienced pilots?
Laid-off pilots typically don't ever return to flying work. I can't remember the source or the exact statistic but I recall reading that the number from the last downturn (2001) who never returned to commercial aviation was about 80%.
v6g is offline  
Old 25th Aug 2009, 13:44
  #7 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Dayton
Age: 44
Posts: 4
my 2 cents

I have been furloughed for 8 months now and it is tough. For me ALL i ever wanted to do if fly, I love flying the more the better. My best days are when I fly for 10 - 15 hrs and then crash in a hotel room and do the same thing the next day. You can ask any one I am a very happy camper then. If you are like that, then yes it will be worth the investment and you will be doing what you always wanted to do. That drive will also be the reason why you do not end up in the 80% that does not return to commercial aviation.
But if flying is not the first and last thing you think of in the day, it will get tough and might not be worth it.
Aviation goes from one extreme to another, I was chief flight instructor for two schools and could not keep my instructors. Instructors with 300-400 hrs were sucked up by regional airlines and were flying there butts off, now G-V captains with 15000 hrs can't find a job. So if you start your training now and just hit it hard you might be ready for the next up-swing. And that is when you want to get hired because it will give you enough buffer, so when the down swing happens you wont get furloughed.

I stayed in flight training and never made the jmup to the airlines, but all my friends that did go to the airlines and were hired on the upswing are still all flying.

Good luck and let me know if there is anything I can do to help
402 Driver is offline  
Old 26th Aug 2009, 06:15
  #8 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 1,519
v6g

Beware casual statistics. That figure will be the same for almost any downsizing industry. The reason is simply that first choice for many companies when downsizing the staff pool is early retirement. It is a (relatively) pain free way of shrinking your workforce (often attracts hordes of volunteers.). Folk who retire early generally: a.career shift, b.cease work forever or c. downsize to part time/consultancy work.
The Old Fat One is offline  
Old 26th Aug 2009, 16:31
  #9 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: up a gumtree
Age: 48
Posts: 109
No, its not worth it.
tropicalfridge is offline  
Old 26th Aug 2009, 17:49
  #10 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Hot and high EGLL
Posts: 108
I always dreamed of being an airline pilot and now that I am flying for a ruthless bean counting airline or accountantline as some of my collegues call it I wonder more often than not what the fk was all the fuss about.
Always on standby always watchin your back and not really paid that much.
Some days are good---all depends who is in the LHS. But my friends always struggle to understand why I spent so much money to do what I do. Especially when I tell them the money I earn.
I used to be able to say because of the way it makes me feel.
More often than not I feel like packing it in because the industry is so cut throat and ruthless that at this rate I will have wrinkles before my time.
Think long and hard about training because the life you will have as an airline pilot hinges so much on what company you work for (if any company at all in this climate!)
antonov09 is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.